Not All 802.11ac AP’s are Created Equal: Built-for-Purpose vs. Purpose-Built
As more and more 802.11ac devices come to the market this year, businesses need to make sure the best possible 802.11ac wireless infrastructure gets deployed to make sure those 802.11ac end points are performing at both the best possible data rates and application throughputs to maximize the move to 802.11ac.
To demonstrate this, let’s take a Cisco 3700 access point..
When you open a Cisco AP, you will see dedicated memory (RAM) on the radio chipset itself (one on the 2.4 GHz radio, another on the 5 Ghz radio) to ensure the RF packets get processed “onboard” each radio instead of “offboard” in order to reduce latency and any packet processing collision from memory contention on the AP. Additional packet processing can be handled on the “offboard” memory that is part of the network processor portion of the AP platform as well. This unique, innovative ASIC-based Wi-Fi chipset by Cisco exemplifies the built-for-Purpose design, and is the hallmark of Cisco’s 3700 Series AP.
Contrast this with the competitive landscape that claims to be Purpose-Built, but in reality is leveraging off-the-shelf merchant silicon-based 802.11ac WiFi chipsets. You will see on these AP’s, the memory is only available “offboard” — introducing packet transfer latency and collision— due to a shared memory between the radios and network processor. It’s that difference that explains why with a Cisco 3700 AP, you can scale 40 or more clients without aggregate throughput drop.
Built-for-Purpose also means Cisco AP 3700 comes with HDX Technology’s ClientLink 3.0, which ensures that all 802.11ac devices are operating at the maximum 11ac data rates. I speak from personal experience–my 802.11ac enabled Macbook Air shows over 800 Mbps consistently. Without Cisco’s built-for-purpose feature set, an 11ac smartphone could be toiling around at 11n rates instead—now where’s the fun with that?
At the end of the day, a built-for-purpose AP from Cisco is going to go the distance and bring you and your end-users the highest performance, optimized for the latest devices. When building out your wireless infrastructure to support all the devices and services on your network, don’t forget: not all 802.11ac AP’s are created equal, so know what you’re getting into when selecting an access point.
Going to Interop next week? You’re in luck to learn more!
If you are attending Interop Las Vegas be sure to visit us at our booth #1327 and come listen to Cisco, partner and customer experts discuss these new innovations at our luncheon event on April 1, 2014. Register for the event.
If not, you can still register for our launch webcast April 1 to get all the details on the latest enterprise mobility products and solutions.Tags:
- 2.4 GHz
- access point
- aggregate throughput
- data rate
- memory contention
- network processor
- packet processing